Bands [I] should know: Lou Reed – life+running

Bands [I] should know: Lou Reed

I’ve been meaning to kick off this series for a while. Way back in October of 2012 I was in Indianapolis for a work event and met up with my blend Kate. After we got dinner, cupcakes, and all that jazz, I mentioned that I just got back from seeing The Smashing Pumpkins, to which she replied, “Who?”

“Wait, what? You don’t know The Smashing Pumpkins? Where have you been all these years?!” I exclaimed, as I did the math and realized at the height of my fandom I was 13, and she was something like 5 years old.

But the situation sparked the idea for a series on “bands you should know” for those who aren’t into music, and those who may have missed out on some pretty classic bands.

bands you should know // sweet tunes thursday //

(original background image source)

Similarly, my dad’s friend from high school has been doing this exact thing to me since I was a little kid — imposing “bands I should know” on me in the form of cassettes, CDs, and now vinyl (which seems backwards chronologically …). He’s been digging through his old collection and giving me things that I need to have, like the album, Transformer by Lou Reed.


Thus, I’m kicking off the “bands you should know” series with “bands I should know”. I even molested my own graphic in the style of my friend Sarah just for effect.

Why should I have known about Lou Reed? Well, he greatly influenced one of my favorite musicians (well, several of them if you want to get technical), David Bowie. And he was friends with Andy Warhol. His early music was glam and pre-punk (if that’s a genre. if not, i’m coining that term). And he wore eye makeup and played a Les Paul guitar. So basically he fits the bill for everything I love in musicians.

Transformer specifically is important because it was his first acclaimed album away from The Velvet Underground, and it was produced by Bowie and Mic Ronson, who’s best known for his work with Bowie, but has worked with some other bands I enjoy, Mott the Hoople and Morrissey. Not only is “Walk on the Wild Side” on Transformer, but “Perfect Day” is as well. I actually knew “Perfect Day” from Metric, and not from Lou Reed.

So now both you AND I know about Lou Reed.


What musical artists are essential for everybody to know? 

If you’d like to write a guest post, I’d love to hear from you. Comment here and I’ll get in touch.

6 Comment

  1. I have to thank you for two things:

    1. Defining me as a graphic molester.
    2. Bringing to light Lou Reed. I always hear him mentioned but definitely had no clue about him. I will probably forget everything, but at least I know where I can turn in the future. 🙂

  2. Kat @ Laura's Sprint2theTable says: Reply

    I was hoping you were going to post a list of bands we should know! who are your, like top 5, artists that you would be shocked to know that no one had heard of?

    1. Never fear! This is the beginning of a series. I have about 25 bands already lined up.

      Top 5? I don’t know if I could name just 5. These are bands that I assume everybody knows. My series is bands I hope people know but am pretty sure not everybody knows them.

      In no particular order:
      1. The Smashing Pumpkins (obviously)
      2. David Bowie (again, obviously)
      3. Michael Jackson
      4. Led Zeppelin
      5. The Beatles

      also, it’s really early in the am. i’d have a better list for you in the afternoon maybe. 😉

  3. When I was teaching high school, I would reference bands from my high school days (94-98 a.k.a. the best era in music EVER), and would get a LOT of blank stares. Even bands like Third Eye Blind or SmashMouth that were INCREDIBLY mainstream in my late high school years got no response.
    I LOOOOVED Lou Reed in high school- mostly because of being obsessed with the movie Trainspotting. I have probably listened to Perfect Day 1,000,000 times (literally) and love the album Transformer. 🙂
    I want to make a need-to-know list too (mine will be 90s grunge rock based, minus the Pumpkins because you already said them and OF COURSE they’re right up top):
    1. Pearl Jam
    2. Nirvana (obv.)
    3. Soundgarden
    4. Alice In Chains
    5. Stone Temple Pilots

    (I could add on a lot more, but you get the idea. Now I need to go watch Singles and Reality Bites…)

  4. Omg, my eyes about bugged out of my head when I read that Kat didn’t know The Smashing Pumpkins! Lord, WHAT would my adolescence have been without Tonight, Tonight, Cherub Rock, and Rat in a Cage?! I can’t even fathom such things!!!

    Hmm, my essential picks…The Beatles,Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks(don’t hate), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Nirvana, and Oasis

  5. […] music: I’ve been living in nostalgia ever since reading this post by Callie last week. Thank goodness for the Sirius XM channel Lithium, where I can get my Pearl Jam, […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: